Mere days after Our Lady’s final apparition at Fatima on October 13, 1917, the Bolsheviks took power over Russia and quickly established a totalitarian communist dictatorship. Suddenly, the infrastructure was in place for the fulfillment of her prediction that Russia would spread its errors throughout the world.
According to the Russian calendar, the date of the coup was November 7, 1917 — a particularly dark day in a particularly hideous period in history.
The world had already been at war since the summer of 1914 with no end in sight and little idea of what Lenin’s ‘October Revolution’ portended for Russia and the entire world.
What the revolution unleashed was an entirely new war. And one of its primary targets was the family, as despised by Karl Marx and epitomized by the murder of the Romanov family.
It was in the early morning hours of July 17, 1918 when muffled gunshots rang out from the basement of a mansion in the Siberian city of Ekaterinburg. Minutes later, a truck rumbled out of the courtyard and disappeared into a forest nearby. It was here that the jumble of bloody corpses – the earthly remains of the Russian royal family which included Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, their four daughters, son, and four servants – were chopped up, burned and dissolved with acid by their Bolshevik executioners, ending the 304-year-old Romanov dynasty.
The Romanovs were part of the same cull of humanity taking place on the muddy battlefields of Europe and elsewhere – a cull that would continue across Russia, across the world and across the 20th century.
Ironically, Russian authors had long seen the bloodbaths coming. Yet their liberal counterparts in the West seem never to have anticipated the horror ahead. Nor have they ever understood the Great War as a judgment and as a logical consequence of the noxious notions and doctrines that erupted in the latter half of the 19th century, beginning with the theories of Marx, Darwin, Freud and a host of other ‘progressives’ and lesser atheists also posing as ‘great minds’.
What even the Bolsheviks didn’t see coming, however, was their eventual reversal of one of Communism’s primary targets – the family which Marx believed could be destroyed through indoctrination against traditional Christian values via a state school system.
“Communism in its philosophy and its early practice was so antimoral and antihuman that it was necessarily opposed to the family as the unit of society,” observed the Venerable archbishop Fulton J. Sheen in his 1948 book, Communism and the Conscience of the West. “But after trying out so-called Communist morality and all the queer practices which the lower levels of democracy (in the West) still believe, it began to repudiate both its theory and practice.”
Here’s how it happened. For nearly two decades after Lenin came to power, the Russian communists used every tactic they could to destroy the Russian family. These included defining marriage as the “formidable stronghold of all the turpitudes of the old regime”; holding families collectively responsible for the anti-Sovietism of any of its members; dividing families by sending parents to separate cities to work or to separate concentration camps; declaring all women between ages 17 and 32 property of the state and sending them out of the home and into such workplaces as mines; taking state ownership of all children and encouraging them to spy on their parents; declaring all church marriages invalid; insisting according to their doctrine of ‘free love’ that marriage should last only as long as ‘love’ lasts; encouraging easy divorce and establishing abortion clinics throughout the land.
The results were disastrous. So much so that by the mid-1930s the Communists, now under Stalin, were forced to rethink their theory when confronted by the mess they’d made. Their multipronged assault on the family had led to a soaring death rate far outnumbering the birth rate; a rampant divorce rate far exceeding the marriage rate and homeless feral children roaming the streets, stealing, assaulting and killing.
“At this point, the Communists began to repudiate communism,” Sheen writes. “As Lenin once saw that collectivism was wrong, since it brought on starvation, so now the Soviets saw the disintegration of the family as the disintegration of the nation.”
The result was an abrupt volte-face. The social practices it once propagated were now condemned: abortion, divorce, free love and even the death sentence. The State, which once regarded children as their property, now denied responsibility for children and affirmed parental responsibility.
The same could not be said for the materialist West where attitudes by the late 1940s regarding family life were equivalent to Russia’s between 1917 and 1935 and still upheld a belief in divorce, free love and a perverse view of sexuality which rejected both birth and control.
“Russia stopped decay of family in a single year because it was a dictatorship and could enforce its decree with bullets, death sentences for twelve-year-old delinquents, concentration camps and secret police,” Sheen continues.
The West, on the other hand, enslaved by its own liberalism, could never resort to such drastic measures to reverse the rot. Then, as now, its only hope was a return to God, prayer and a properly formed conscience enlightened by religion and morality. Precisely the remedy our culture is still so busily and so arrogantly rejecting.
Not that the Soviet prescription was godly. It wasn’t. The truth was the communists understood they had to reverse their persecution of the family or Russia itself would perish – an insight the West resolutely refuses to see even now. Just as it remains blind to the predictable consequences of its louche moral code.
For example, if the average home is living on credit, spending money it doesn’t have, the nation will pile on national debt until its inevitable financial collapse. Similarly, if couples deliberately frustrate the fruits of love and live only for self, the nation’s social life becomes barren and economic peace impossible. And if a husband or wife permits outside solicitations to seduce one away from the other, the nation soon becomes victim to philosophies alien to the tenets of Christendom, sweeping away even basic loyalties such as patriotism. Similarly, if husband and wife live as if there is no God, the nation will then produce bureaucrats pleading for atheism as a national policy while denying that the rights and liberties of all its citizens come from God.
“It is the home which decides the nation,” declares Sheen, adding that what happens in the family happens eventually in city halls, legislatures and courts across the land. “Every country gets the government it deserves. As we live in the home, so shall the nation live.”
Seventy years on, such common sense has not prevailed in the West which has allowed itself, in the name of freedom, to be corrupted by philosophies now threatening to destroy it completely through multiple routes, but most egregiously through pro-abortion legislation and court decisions such as Roe vs Wade in 1973.
From that decision came the deluge, the slaughter of innocents which continues to this day as we near the bottom of the slippery slope of deceitful arguments that got us here.
Consider the recent passage of a bill in the Ontario legislature by a vote of 86-1 criminalizing pro-life speech and expression outside abortion clinics.
And, irony of ironies, note the date: October 25, 2017, exactly the centennial date (according to the Gregorian calendar) of the ‘October Revolution’.
The far-reaching Bill 163 automatically outlaws all pro-life activity, including sidewalk counselling and any display of ‘disapproval’ of abortion, within 50 meters of Ontario’s eight abortion centres, a distance that can be increased to 150 meters on request.
It also allows hospitals, pharmacies, and healthcare facilities that do abortions, including providing the abortion pill — to apply for ‘bubble zones’ banning all pro-life activity of up to 150 meters.
The penalty? Individuals convicted of breaching Bill 163 face a fine of up to $5,000 and jail sentence of up to six months for a first conviction.
This, in a so-called ‘free’ country where speech is free only when it agrees with government policy. It’s enough to make one weep.
Yet tragically, this confirms yet again how accurate were Our Lady’s predictions at Fatima. Without a repentent return to the Faith of our Fathers, the God-created nation will fail and fall, a victim of its own hubris and fecklessness.